RELEASE DATE:  March 14, 2002

PA NUMBER:  PAR-02-081 (This PA has been reissued, see PAR-05-076)

EXPIRATION DATE:  03-15-05  

National Library of Medicine (NLM)


o Purpose of the PA
o Research Objectives
o Mechanism(s) of Support 
o Eligible Institutions
o Individuals Eligible to Become Principal Investigators
o Special Requirements
o Where to Send Inquiries
o Submitting an Application
o Peer Review Process
o Review Criteria
o Award Criteria
o Required Federal Citations

The National Library of Medicine provides IAIMS grants to health-related 
institutions and organizations that seek assistance for projects to plan, 
design, test and deploy systems and techniques for integrating data, 
information and knowledge resources into a comprehensive networked 
information management system that serves the organization"s clinical, 
research, educational and administrative needs.

Integrated advanced information systems (IAIMS) are organization-wide or 
trans-organizational mechanisms that use computer networks to link and relate 
the published biomedical knowledge base with individual and institutional 
databases and information files, within and external to an institution. 
The Integrated Advanced Information Management Systems (IAIMS) program 
described in this Program Announcement is a substantially revised version of 
the NLM"s existing IAIMS program, first announced in 1982 and substantially 
revised in 1992.

Because health-related organizations exhibit considerable variation in their 
approach to information management, NLM"s IAIMS program offers several 
options for grant support: IAIMS Planning Grants, IAIMS Pilot Study Grants, 
IAIMS Testing and Evaluation Grants, IAIMS Operations Grants and IAIMS 
Fellowships. This program announcement describes only the IAIMS Operations 
Grant. For information about other IAIMS grants, see their individual program 


The Internet, advanced computing technologies, and digital information have 
altered the information landscape. With access to data, information and 
knowledge no longer time- and place- dependent, new opportunities are 
emerging to improve health care, education and research. To benefit from 
these advances, health-related organizations must (1) seamlessly integrate 
their own digital information resources with relevant information obtained 
from external sources, and (2) bring digital information to health care 
teams, researchers, teachers, students, patients and the general public in a 
way supports sound decisions and effective action.

The long-term goal of NLM"s IAIMS program is a comprehensive and convenient 
information management system, one that brings useful, usable knowledge to 
action settings in health care, education and research. Particular emphasis 
is placed on organization-wide and trans-organizational mechanisms that 
enable the easy flow of information between arenas of action, such as between 
health care and education, or between health-related organizations, such as 
from a community clinic to a hospital or public health department. 

Since 1984, NLM has provided IAIMS grants to academic health sciences centers 
to build networks and organizational mechanisms for information management. 
In its first two decades, the emphasis of IAIMS was building organizational 
mechanisms and infrastructure that were largely internal to academic centers. 
Technological advances and widespread access to the Internet make it possible 
now to shift the emphasis of IAIMS from building these capabilities to using 
them.  The IAIMS challenge for the 21st century is to involve all kinds of 
health-related organizations in using local and national networks to acquire, 
manage, and deliver knowledge in a way that binds it to effective action.[1] 
The fundamental activity areas of today"s IAIMS program are these:

o CONTEXT-APPROPRIATE INFORMATION. People need usable, useful health 
information to guide their learning and decisions. Health care, education and 
research take place today in an information space fed by many sources of 
digital and printed information, some of which are not owned by an 
organization.  Each organization must implement approaches that select the 
right subset of information from the available sources, and present it in the 
way most effective for a given problem and person. Examples of context-
appropriate systems include:
o systems that deliver applicable "chunks" of published knowledge into 
settings in which clinical decisions are being made,
o systems that employ user profiles to tailor information resources or 
services to meet the needs of a key audience,
o systems that enable the exchange of data between research databanks and 
clinical health records,
o education modules that are delivered into workplace settings.

o STANDARDS-BASED INFORMATION MANAGEMENT. Integrated access to a collection 
of information resources and services (one-stop shopping) has always been a 
core purpose of IAIMS. Effective integration of data, information and 
knowledge requires common syntax and semantics. Health organizations must use 
common vocabularies and adopt information standards that support the 
integration and exchange of health information. Examples of standards-based 
information management include:
o standards-based applications that move clinical data from one proprietary 
system to another,
o systems that use components of the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) 
to link library information to personal health records,
o systems that employ accepted standard data definitions in transmitting 
claims information or other reports electronically.

o DIGITAL LIBRARIES.  The phrase "digital library" refers to a collection of 
information, data or knowledge, stored on a computer and accessible across a 
network to other local and distributed computers. Examples of digital 
libraries include collections of electronic published articles and books, 
electronic personal health records, multimedia curriculum materials, research 
databanks and data warehouses of administrative or clinical information. The 
complex array of activities in academic health sciences centers and health 
care organizations can result in poorly- integrated information resources and 
services.  Departmental and organizational boundaries can impede the flow of 
usable, useful information (1) between centers of activity within a single 
organization (such as between 2 health professions school), or (2) among 
unaffiliated organizations, (such as departments at different universities or 
a community consortium of hospitals). Organizations must implement approaches 
that facilitate the use of information acquired in one arena of action, such 
as clinical care, by people in another arena, such as research.  

Information management includes such functions as:  methods of stewardship 
that assure the availability of useful, usable, accurate information, tools 
that allow authorized people to use information retrospectively and 
prospectively, in real time, for their chosen purposes, links from the 
organization"s knowledge store to knowledge that is external (i.e., not owned 
by the organization), evaluation of the costs and benefits to users of an 
information resource or service. Work in any fundamental IAIMS activity area 
requires the adoption of efficient, effective strategies for information 
management. A discussion of pertinent information management issues and 
processes is a required component of all IAIMS applications.

Applicants are encouraged to propose IAIMS projects that include more than 
one institution, or include organizations of different types such as 
hospitals, clinics, community centers and local government health 
departments. While more complex, such collaborative projects give desirable 
economies of scale, affect greater numbers of users, and take advantage of 
network technological advancements. 

IAIMS grants are not sequential grants. However, some IAIMS grants do have 
prerequisites. Please see the program details for each grant in the IAIMS 
program.  Organizations may apply for more than one type of IAIMS grant at 
the same time, but those applications will compete against one another for 


This PA uses the NIH G08 award mechanism. As an applicant, you will be solely 
responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project.   

Applicants may request up to $400,000 per year for up to four years. Only 
direct costs are supported. All IAIMS grants support direct costs for salary, 
consultants, equipment and software costs, training costs, travel, supplies 
and other expenses appropriate to the project. Facilities and Administration 
(F&A) costs are not provided for IAIMS Operations grants. 
Consortium/subcontractual costs are treated as direct costs to the parent 
grant and, therefore, must be within the total direct cost cap established 
for this program. 

This PA uses just-in-time concepts. 


You may submit (an) application(s) if your institution has any of the 
following characteristics: 
o For-profit or non-profit organizations 
o Public or private institutions, such as universities, colleges, hospitals, 
and laboratories 
o Units of State and local governments
o Eligible agencies of the Federal government  
o Domestic
o Faith-based organizations

Organizations that were funded in the past for IAIMS planning, model 
development or implementation activities under the earlier IAIMS program are 
eligible to apply for any IAIMS grant.

Any eligible applicant may apply for an IAIMS Operations grant, but any 
applicant who has already received an IAIMS Operations grant should consult 
NLM before applying for another. Applications which seek continuation funding 
for activities initiated under the earlier IAIMS Phase 2 grant program will 
not be considered.


Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry 
out the proposed research is invited to work with their institution to 
develop an application for support.  Individuals from underrepresented racial 
and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always 
encouraged to apply for NIH programs.    


The goal and intended outcome of the IAIMS operations grant is a large-scale, 
functioning resource, system or service that addresses one or more of the 
fundamental IAIMS activity areas, crossing areas of activity or 
organizational boundaries. Upon preparing a written plan, either through a 
planning activity or testing & evaluation activity, an institution may apply 
for an IAIMS Operations grant to support organization wide or multi-
organization deployment of an information resource, system or service. The 
IAIMS Operations grant can include periods of pilot testing and evaluation, 
but a written plan must be submitted as a component of the application.  An 
application for an IAIMS operations grant will not be accepted without this 
background documentation, which is used in the assessment of organizational 
readiness and commitment. The planning or testing evaluation activity that 
leads to the plan need not have been undertaken with NLM funding, but should 
adhere to the general guidelines outlined for IAIMS Planning or IAIMS Testing 
& Evaluation projects, as described in the program statements for those 

The desired outcome for an IAIMS Operations Grant is a functioning resource, 
system or service that addresses one or more of the fundamental activity 
areas of IAIMS. An IAIMS Operations Grant application should cover the 
following points:
o  Description of the resource,  system or service to be deployed,
o  The scale of the deployment,  intended users and expected benefits, 
o  How staff and users will learn to use the system or resource,
o  The evaluation data to be collected on a regular basis and how they will 
be used,
o  A timetable and milestones for the project,
o  The extent of institutional support and commitment for the resource, 
system or service,
o  Roles for the library, informatics and other information organizations,
o  How the system, resource or service will be managed and funded when grant 
funding ends,
o  How public access to findings and results will be disseminated, e.g., web 
site, presentations and publications, open source software, etc.

Discussion of pertinent information management issues and processes is 

Due to the length and complexity of IAIMS operations proposals, successful 
applicants will be expected to host a site visit from NLM program staff 
during second year of the IAIMS Operations Grant. A review of progress, 
goals, milestones and timeline for completion will be discussed during the 
visit. The IAIMS Operations Grant is non-renewable. 


We encourage your inquiries concerning this PAR and welcome the opportunity 
answer questions from potential applicants.   

o Direct your questions about scientific/research issues to:

Valerie Florance, Ph.D.
Extramural Programs
National Library of Medicine
Rockledge 1, Suite 301, 6705 Rockledge Drive
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 594-4882
FAX:  (301) 402-2952
Email: Floranv@mail.nlm.nih.gov

o Direct your questions about financial or grants management matters to:

J. Christopher Robey
Extramural Programs
National Library of Medicine
Rockledge 1, Suite 301, 6705 Rockledge Drive
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 496-4221
FAX:  (301) 402-2952
Email: RobeyJ@mail.nlm.nih.gov


Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant application 
instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001).  The PHS 398 is available at 
https://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html in an interactive 
format.  For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, Telephone (301) 710-0267, 
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

APPLICATION RECEIPT DATES: Applications submitted in response to this program 
announcement will be accepted at the standard application deadlines, which 
are available at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/dates.htm.  Application 
deadlines are also indicated in the PHS 398 application kit.

SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE NIH: Submit a signed, typewritten original of 
the application, including the checklist, and five signed photocopies in one 
package to:

Center for Scientific Review
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040, MSC 7710
Bethesda, MD  20892-7710
Bethesda, MD  20817 (for express/courier service)

APPLICATION PROCESSING: Applications must be received by or mailed on or 
before the receipt dates described for new grants at 
https://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm. The CSR will not 
accept any application in response to this PA that is essentially the same as 
one currently pending initial review unless the applicant withdraws the 
pending application.  The CSR will not accept any application that is 
essentially the same as one already reviewed.  This does not preclude the 
submission of a substantial revision of an application already reviewed, but 
such application must include an Introduction addressing the previous 


Applications submitted for this PA will be assigned on the basis of 
established PHS referral guidelines.  An appropriate scientific review group 
convened in accordance with the standard NIH peer review procedures 
(http://www.csr.nih.gov/refrev.htm) will evaluate applications for scientific 
and technical merit.  

As part of the initial merit review, all applications will:

o Receive a written critique
o Undergo a selection process in which only those applications deemed to have 
the highest scientific merit, generally the top half of applications under 
review, will be discussed and assigned a priority score
o Receive a second level review by the appropriate national advisory council 
or board

The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance our understanding of 
biological systems, improve the control of disease, and enhance health.  In 
the written comments, reviewers will be asked to discuss the following 
aspects of your application in order to judge the likelihood that the 
proposed research will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these 

o Significance 
o Approach 
o Innovation
o Investigator
o Environment
The scientific review group will address and consider each of these criteria 
in assigning your application"s overall score, weighting them as appropriate 
for each application.  Your application does not need to be strong in all 
categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact and thus 
deserve a high priority score.  For example, you may propose to carry out 
important work that by its nature is not innovative but is essential to move 
a field forward.

(1) SIGNIFICANCE:  Does your study address an important problem? If the aims 
of your application are achieved, how do they advance scientific knowledge?  
What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts or methods that 
drive this field?

(2) APPROACH:  Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses 
adequately developed, well integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the 
project?  Do you acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative 

(3) INNOVATION:  Does your project employ novel concepts, approaches or 
methods? Are the aims original and innovative?  Does your project challenge 
existing paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies? 

(4) INVESTIGATOR: Are you appropriately trained and well suited to carry out 
this work?  Is the work proposed appropriate to your experience level as the 
principal investigator and to that of other researchers (if any)?

(5) ENVIRONMENT:  Does the scientific environment in which your work will be 
done contribute to the probability of success?  Do the proposed experiments 
take advantage of unique features of the scientific environment or employ 
useful collaborative arrangements?  Is there evidence of institutional 

ADDITIONAL REVIEW CRITERIA: In addition to the above criteria, your 
application will also be reviewed with respect to the following:

DATA SHARING: The adequacy of the proposed plan to share data.

BUDGET:  The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the requested period 
of support in relation to the proposed research.


In addition to the general criteria outlined above, each IAIMS grant has a 
specific set of review criteria. 

Critical review elements for an IAIMS Operations Grant include the following: 
o Responsiveness to one or more of the stated IAIMS fundamental activity 
o Trans-organizational scale, scalability and transferability,
o Institutional readiness as evidenced by the written plan,
o Evidence of functioning institutional information management mechanism, 
o Proposed resource, system or service that crosses boundaries, i.e., spans 
two or more organizations, or arenas of action,
o Clearly defined responsibilities for the health sciences library, 
informatics and other appropriate information units.

While not required, the following elements are viewed as highly desirable by 
reviewers of IAIMS Operations Grants: 
o Involvement of another organization, such as a historically black college 
or university, public health department, or community-based organization, 
o Emphasis on system, resource or service that delivers information gathered 
in one area (e.g. health care) into an application setting in another (e.g. 
o Delivery of direct information services to a new audience, such as 
consumers and patients, or researchers, 
o Incorporation of NLM resources such as PubMed, Entrez, UMLS, TOXNET, 
o Use of NLM products such as UMLS, 
o Attention to NLM priorities as expressed in the NLM long range plan, 
o Benefits underserved rural or inner-city populations,
o Contributes to the elimination of health disparities.


Applications submitted in response to a PA will compete for available funds 
with all other recommended applications.  The following will be considered in 
making funding decisions:  

o Scientific merit of the proposed project as determined by peer review
o Availability of funds 
o Relevance to program priorities


Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to 
provide public access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act 
(FOIA) under some circumstances.  Data that are (1) first produced in a 
project that is supported in whole or in part with Federal funds and (2) 
cited publicly and officially by a Federal agency in support of an action 
that has the force and effect of law (i.e., a regulation) may be accessed 
through FOIA.  It is important for applicants to understand the basic scope 
of this amendment.  NIH has provided guidance at 

Applicants may wish to place data collected under this PA in a public 
archive, which can provide protections for the data and manage the 
distribution for an indefinite period of time.  If so, the application should 
include a description of the archiving plan in the study design and include 
information about this in the budget justification section of the 
application. In addition, applicants should think about how to structure 
informed consent statements and other human subjects procedures given the 
potential for wider use of data collected under this award.

URLs IN NIH GRANT APPLICATIONS OR APPENDICES: All applications and proposals 
for NIH funding must be self-contained within specified page limitations. 
Unless otherwise specified in an NIH solicitation, Internet addresses (URLs) 
should not be used to provide information necessary to the review because 
reviewers are under no obligation to view the Internet sites.   Furthermore, 
we caution reviewers that their anonymity may be compromised when they 
directly access an Internet site.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010: The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to 
achieving the health promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy 
People 2010," a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas. This PA 
is related to one or more of the priority areas. Potential applicants may 
obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at http://www.health.gov/healthypeople.

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS: This program is described in the Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance No. 93.879. Awards are made under authorization 
of the PHS Act, Title III, Part A, Section 301, Title IV, Part D, Subpart 2, 
Sections 472-476, as amended, Public Law 100-607 and administered under NIH 
grants policies described at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm 
and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92. This 
program is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of 
Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review.  

The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke-free 
workplace and discourage the use of all tobacco products.  In addition, 
Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking in 
certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which 
regular or routine education, library, day care, health care, or early 
childhood development services are provided to children.  This is consistent 
with the PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of 
the American people.


[1] Next-Generation IAIMS: Binding Knowledge to Effective Practice. Florance, 
V. and Masys, D. Prepared under contract N01-LM 9-3523. Washington, D.C.: 
Association of American Medical Colleges, September 2001. The full technical 
report is available in PDF form at 

Information about past and present recipients of IAIMS grants is available 
from the IAIMS Consortium at 

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices

Office of Extramural Research (OER) - Home Page Office of Extramural
Research (OER)
  National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Home Page National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
  Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Home Page Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS)
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